The meeting between lava and sea is always feared. The inhabitants of several districts of a town on the Spanish island of La Palma were confined on Monday, September 27, due to fears of the emanation of toxic gases that could cause the arrival in the sea of ​​lava expelled by the volcano Cumbre Vieja (“Vieux Sommet”), which erupted eight days ago.

The authorities have “Ordered confinement [des quartiers] from San Borondon, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa » in Tazacorte, “Lava is likely to reach the sea in the next few hours” at the level of this municipality and lead to the emanation of “Gases harmful to health”, explained on Twitter the emergency services of the Canaries, the archipelago of which La Palma is part. “The population will have to follow the instructions of the authorities and stay at home, doors and windows closed, until the situation is assessed”, they continued. On Sunday evening, the lava was 1.6 km from the coast and was advancing at a speed of about 100 m / hour, according to the authorities.

Cumbre Vieja stopped spewing lava and ash on Monday, but scientists warn the scenario could change quickly. According to a correspondent for Agence France-Presse, no more glowing lava jet came out of the volcano, nor ash.

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Reduced volcano activity

” The activity [du volcan] has significantly reduced in recent hours in La Palma ”, tweeted the Institute of Geosciences of Madrid, supporting graph showing a red curve descending sharply. Corn “We must remain very attentive to its evolution because the scenario can change very quickly”, he added. “We will see how it unfolds in the next few hours. “

“The volcanic tremor has almost disappeared, as has the explosive strombolian activity” – type of volcanic activity alternating eruptions of lava and explosive projections and named thus in reference to the volcano on the island of Stromboli, in southern Italy -, also specified the Volcanological Institute of the Canaries (Involcan).

Air traffic remained suspended with eight flights canceled (departures and arrivals) Monday morning, according to the site of the company managing Spanish airports, AENA, although La Palma airport reopened on Sunday after being briefly shut down on Saturday due to ash buildup.

This eruption has not made any casualties at this stage, but caused enormous damage and led to the evacuation of more than 6,000 people, some of whom saw their homes completely swallowed up. Nearly 500 buildings were destroyed by the lava covering more than 212 hectares, including many banana plantations, according to data from the European geospatial measurement system Copernicus.

The two previous eruptions in La Palma, which took place in 1971 and 1949, killed a total of three people, two of them from gas inhalation.

Read also In the Canaries, 6,000 people were evacuated after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano

The World with AFP



www.lemonde.fr

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